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Girlfriend of man accused of killing son testifies at trial

Julia Stensky testifies at the murder trial of her former boyfriend, David Creato, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Camden N.J. Creato is accused of killing his 3-year-old son in October 2015 because he allegedly was an impediment to his relationship with a teenage girlfriend. ( Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The girlfriend of a man accused of killing his son because the boy was an impediment to his relationship with her took the stand Tuesday at his murder trial.

Julia Stensky, who was subpoenaed to testify in David Creato’s trial, initially sought to avoid that by repeatedly stating that she wanted to invoke her right against self-incrimination. However, a judge eventually ruled she must answer questions before the jury, allowing her lawyer to sometimes advise her.

Stensky, 19, initially took the stand without the jury present and reviewed statements she had given and answered questions posed by Camden County prosecutors. Among them was whether she was angry that Creato’s 3-year-old son, Brendan, was with him when she visited him at his Haddon Township the weekend before the child died.

“I was kind of upset with Brendan being there,” Stensky said. She also said she had considered breaking up with Creato that weekend.

When she testified before the jury, Stensky discussed her relationship with Creato, saying he was jealous of her relationships with other men and would often check her social media accounts to keep tabs on her. She also spoke about the times Brendan would stay at his apartment while she was there.

Stensky had previously called Brendan a “mistake” in a Tumblr post she wrote. But she testified Tuesday that Creato was “a good father” and “he tried his best.”

Creato, 23, maintains his innocence, saying his son wandered away from his home shortly before he was found in October 2015. The child’s body was found in a creek about a mile from his father’s home.

Stensky spoke with investigators the day Brendan was found, but then hired an attorney and declined to speak to authorities further. She was attending college in New York City when Brendan died, authorities said, and she has not been charged.

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